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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, when we go out, Gemma is no longer shy of anyone or anything. In fact, she seems to be overly excited towards other dogs. She kind of starts going crazy and I have no idea where this behavior stemmed from because she used to hide between my legs at the sight of another dog. Now as soon as she sees another dog, she's at the end of her leash, jumping back and forth with her tail up and wagging a little, ears straight up, and she's even barking sometimes. It's not a growling bark, it's just a bark on its own like the way she barks for me when she speaks. Is this aggressive behavior or just an excited puppy behavior? Her hackles stand up sometimes too but I've noticed lately that they really don't too often anymore.

Today in the pet store, a Dachshund came up to Gemma and she was going crazy jumping at him. She was jumping from side to side, getting low and then pouncing, making little whining noises, and even standing up while she sniffed him and putting her paws on his face. Her ears were back but her tail was straight up and wagging a little bit. Thankfully the little guy was as sweet as can be and tolerated Gemma's poor manners, but I felt bad that Gemma was being so misbehaved. I kept giving her a little tug back on her leash and a little sharp "shhhhh!" noise when she jumped at him and tried to paw him, but she seemed to ignore me.

Is this aggressive behavior or just really playful behavior because she's a curious, hyper puppy? And what should I do to stop it? She does it with people, too. She will approach someone on her own, even chase them sometimes, and as soon as they bend down to greet her, she jumps back and then from side to side in front of them, sometimes barking a little. She gets into that stance where her head is low and her rear is in the air, like she does when she wants me to play with her.

She has never bitten a person but she snapped at a dog when she was really young that was extremely hyper like she is now. He was a Japanese Chin who ran at us unleashed while we were walking her on her leash outside (and this was before she was even trained to walk on her leash). He was jumping all over her and me and she just snapped at him. Ever since then, she has basically never hid from dogs anymore. Now she acts like that little crazy Japanese Chin towards everyone else.

I don't want Gemma to become aggressive towards other dogs or people, and I also don't want her to be overly hyper and jumpy. It might look cute to others because she's so tiny, but if this was a lab, no one would find it acceptable for an 80lb dog to be jumping and barking all over the place. She needs to have the same manners that any bigger breed needs to have. If anyone has advice for how I should deal with this behavior she's showing and what it actually means, I would be so appreciative.
 

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I think she is just being playful. Maybe you can work on teaching her "leave it" or another command. You could also teach her that she has to sit first in order to meet with other dogs or for people to pet her.
 

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Just puppy happy-to-see you behavior. She's asking the other dogs to play with her. And the people too. Not aggressive at all. When she does the play bow (butt in the air, wagging tail, ears back and barking) it signals the other dog that she is not a threat and wants to play. In fact, she sounds a lot like my Babushka. She just loves to play.
 

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I agree, I think it is playful. She just needs to learn some doggy manners. I'd teach her to sit stay until you give her permission to greet another dog. That way she learns to politely greet and is more manageable.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think she is just being playful. Maybe you can work on teaching her "leave it" or another command. You could also teach her that she has to sit first in order to meet with other dogs or for people to pet her.
Thank you for the advice, Missy. She knows how to "drop it" when we are playing tug of war, and she knows when I say "leave it" while we are walking and she stops to sniff something or try to eat something that it's time to go. Maybe if I start using "leave it" when she gets too in a dog's face, she will get the idea that that also means it's time to back off. Sitting before seeing another dog would be good, too. I will have to try that (and feel horribly embarrassed as she ignores me in front of every stranger, lol).
 

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Sonny does this and it drives me crazy! He doesn't understand how to ask another dog to play. I have yet to find a way to get him to stop. Sometimes it looks like he is being aggressive but he is not just wants to play. I try to make him sit etc but the last time I carried him out of the store as his manners were left in my truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just puppy happy-to-see you behavior. She's asking the other dogs to play with her. And the people too. Not aggressive at all. When she does the play bow (butt in the air, wagging tail, ears back and barking) it signals the other dog that she is not a threat and wants to play. In fact, she sounds a lot like my Babushka. She just loves to play.
Ahh, okay! Well that's good news. That's exactly what she does. I was worried it could be aggressive because she has actually scared some dogs when she has done it that are a million times bigger than her, so I didn't know if it was because she was putting out aggressive signals to them or if they were just nervous dogs themselves. We took her to a dog park that's divided by two sides for small and big dogs a week ago, and there was a super hyper big black lab on the big dog side, and he kept running up to Gemma to look at her through the fence, and as soon as she got into that playful butt in the air stance, he would let out a little whine and run the other way, LOL. But he kept coming back to check her out. I guess he was just unsure of her.

I agree, I think it is playful. She just needs to learn some doggy manners. I'd teach her to sit stay until you give her permission to greet another dog. That way she learns to politely greet and is more manageable.


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Thanks, Ashley! I am going to work on making her sit nicely before she gets to greet other dogs. She's not very good at listening to me when she's in her own little world, but hopefully I can break that behavior, too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sonny does this and it drives me crazy! He doesn't understand how to ask another dog to play. I have yet to find a way to get him to stop. Sometimes it looks like he is being aggressive but he is not just wants to play. I try to make him sit etc but the last time I carried him out of the store as his manners were left in my truck.
Lol, it's driving me crazy too because she keeps scaring other dogs away, LOL. My little 2.6lb ball of energy. I guess all she wants is a buddy to play with, but she doesn't know how to be polite when she's asking!
 

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She wants to play--how cute is that!
I wouldn't get in the habit of saying leave it when she approaches other dogs--
they will signal her to back off if they don't want to play or if they are annoyed.
Most dogs will tolerate an exuberant puppy :)
 

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'Tis the simplest of all the animal kingdom's body language - so long as that tail is up (if it's one that goes up & down) and wagging even just the tiniest bit, all is well in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She wants to play--how cute is that!
I wouldn't get in the habit of saying leave it when she approaches other dogs--
they will signal her to back off if they don't want to play or if they are annoyed.
Most dogs will tolerate an exuberant puppy :)
Okay, thank you. :) I just don't want her to be overly crazy as an adult, but if this is just normal, playful puppy behavior, then that's fine with me! I think we will just work on having her sit like a good girl before she gets to greet another dog.

'Tis the simplest of all the animal kingdom's body language - so long as that tail is up (if it's one that goes up & down) and wagging even just the tiniest bit, all is well in the world.
Haha, thanks, Dee! Yep, that tail is always up and there's at least a little wag going on. I guess she's just letting everyone know she's a happy girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sounds like the little munchkin needs a playmate!
She really does. My boyfriend has no friends or family with small dogs and I have no friends or family here period, LOL. Sooo, we need to put up an ad or something to find her a buddy! Her best option right now is my boyfriend's mom's cat, but that playtime is pretty one-sided. She just chases him and he runs away and hides, lol.
 

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She really does. My boyfriend has no friends or family with small dogs and I have no friends or family here period, LOL. Sooo, we need to put up an ad or something to find her a buddy! Her best option right now is my boyfriend's mom's cat, but that playtime is pretty one-sided. She just chases him and he runs away and hides, lol.
Lol! Maybe she needs a brother or sister?
 

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Oh, my goodness! That sounds SERIOUS! haha!

Chickadee, you have yourself a perfect specimen of a happy, healthy and well-adjusted (and darling) PUPPY!

When you get your second, you will see that behavior all day every day. My littlest one (she is 3.3 lbs.) still does this and jumps around and plays like a a 4 month old puppy and she is 18 months old. She can annoy the others a bit with her energy (and I have to feed her much more than I should for her size because she burns through calories). She can be like the bothersome little sister.

She is also VERY vocal. She can startle the other two (this does amuse me even if it shouldn't) with her sounds. She is just playing. Sounds like Gemma is a lot like her.

I have a feeling that Eden may never grew out of it. It would be fine with me if she doesn't!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lol! Maybe she needs a brother or sister?
Oh don't get me started! Lol. I wish, but we can't afford it now. Probably not until next year. If anything, we can get a kitten now. But wooooooweeee, dogs are expensive here! The initial price of a puppy and the cost to care for one! Vet bills, food, everything is just crazy more than I am used to paying coming from the U.S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, my goodness! That sounds SERIOUS! haha!

Chickadee, you have yourself a perfect specimen of a happy, healthy and well-adjusted (and darling) PUPPY!

When you get your second, you will see that behavior all day every day. My littlest one (she is 3.3 lbs.) still does this and jumps around and plays like a a 4 month old puppy and she is 18 months old. She can annoy the others a bit with her energy (and I have to feed her much more than I should for her size because she burns through calories). She can be like the bothersome little sister.

She is also VERY vocal. She can startle the other two (this does amuse me even if it shouldn't) with her sounds. She is just playing. Sounds like Gemma is a lot like her.

I have a feeling that Eden may never grew out of it. It would be fine with me if she doesn't!
LOL, phew! I was worried I was raising a Cujo here! I've never raised a puppy so I have no idea what the early signs of bad behavior and aggression are. I'm glad to know she's just being a playful goofball!

Haha, sounds like you have a perpetual puppy! I wouldn't mind Gemma ending up like that myself. ;) She is also very, very vocal now ever since I taught her to "speak." She's discovered her voice and she ain't afraid to use it!
 

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Yep. I agree with the others. Sounds like a play bow to me. I'd get her to sit like the others said. Do you have any friends with dogs she could practice with? If she's ignoring your commands I'd try snapping her out of it with a treat under her nose, then ask her to sit or whatever it is you want her to do before giving her the treat. I've seen dogs that know a sort of 'stop what you're doing and look at me' command and that could be a good one to teach.
 

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Oh don't get me started! Lol. I wish, but we can't afford it now. Probably not until next year. If anything, we can get a kitten now. But wooooooweeee, dogs are expensive here! The initial price of a puppy and the cost to care for one! Vet bills, food, everything is just crazy more than I am used to paying coming from the U.S.
I know exactly what you mean! I'd love to get a friend for Mylo.
 

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Oh don't get me started! Lol. I wish, but we can't afford it now. Probably not until next year. If anything, we can get a kitten now. But wooooooweeee, dogs are expensive here! The initial price of a puppy and the cost to care for one! Vet bills, food, everything is just crazy more than I am used to paying coming from the U.S.
I hear you there! It might be cheaper here, but the vet and food bill here times 2 can add up, and now I'm out on disability so its hard!.
 
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